News, updates, and (mostly viable) rumors relating to development of science fiction / fantasy television productions.
Emerald City – Production has been halted on the Wizard of Oz-based series Emerald City according to Hollywood Reporter. Josh Friedman (The Sarah Connor Chronicles) was attached to the re-imagining of the Oz story which was greenlit by NBC straight-to-series without a pilot. However, since the network and the producers could not agree on the direction of the show, NBC has chosen not to move forward with it. Casting had not yet begun on the drama, but the show’s studio may still shop it around to other venues. This is the second straight-to-series genre show to be cancelled while in production in as many months as FOX decided not to move forward with the fantasy/drama Hieroglyph back in June. That show had already completed its first episode.
Damien – Former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara will begin work on another horror property as he plans on producing a TV continuation of the 1976 classic film The Omen for Lifetime. The project has received a six episode straight-to-series commitment with a target for an early 2015 premiere. It will follow an adult Damien who must come to terms with the fact that he is the Antichrist.
Production continues on the Netflix Marvel Defenders project which will have Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist each in their own solo series along with a team-up series that will bring all four of the characters together. The streaming service’s CCO Ted Sarandos answered in an interview why they chose these characters:
It was really based on the theatrical model of The Avengers. Could you take another group of characters, The Defenders, and go about it the same way? Normally they do the big movie and then eventually they get to the group origin story. Having 13 hours to tell each of these stories, you can go right to the origin story and the action at the same time.
You can read more of the interview at this link.
Nod – Fox has ordered a script plus penalty commitment (meaning they pay a substantial fee if they decide to pass) for a TV series based on the book Nod by Adrian Barnes. The book focuses on a world where people lose the ability to sleep and yet they are not tired.
The Living and the Dead – From the creator of Life on Mars, this BBC series will follow a 19th century gentleman farmer who is determined to prove the existence of the afterlife. Six episodes have been ordered (a typical number for a British series) and production is slated to start in 2015.